Over time our bodies can show natural signs of wear and tear and joint problems can seem inevitable, but experts have now found that no matter how many candles there are on top of your birthday cake if you take care of your joints they’ll carry on working smoothly. Taking care of your joints comes down to the health and nutrition schedule you have as part of your lifestyle. There are some foods that can not only promote healthy joints but also ease the pain associated with various joint problems. We’ve compiled a list of the very best foods to aid positive joint health.
Did you know that by the time we reach adulthood we will already have plenty of tiny tears in the cartilage that protects our joints? Although you might not feel them now, over time you may suffer from inflammation and weakening of the joints. The humble salmon is jam-packed with omega-3 fatty acids that are fantastic natural anti-inflammatory. Make sure you choose wild salmon as farmed salmon often contains less omega-3s.
When your joints become inflamed it’s your body’s natural way of attempting to protect you. However, when your joints and tissue are inflamed for long periods of time free radicals can start to cause chemical reactions inside your body that damage cells further. It has been proven that these chemical reactions are linked to rheumatoid arthritis, but you have a weapon against this autoimmune disease in the form of antioxidants!
Antioxidants fight the free radicals and can be found in most nuts, including peanuts, as well as sunflower seeds. Almonds are great in the fight against free radicals and they are also a source of vitamin E, which can protect the membranes that surround joint cells.
Amino acids are essential for forming bodily tissues, including cartilage. Naturally, we produce some amino acids, but protein from certain foods can give our joints an extra boost. All types of beans are a great source of protein, including kidney beans and red beans but black beans are the bean that really packs a punch. As well as being rich in protein they contain anthocyanins, an antioxidant that prevents inflammation and joint-happy mineral, manganese.
Research has shown that people who consume less vitamin C are as much as three times more likely to develop arthritis. Vitamin C is another antioxidant that protects your body from free radicals by penetrating into cells. Most people think that oranges are the best source of vitamin C but in reality the papaya fruit boasts twice as much of this handy vitamin, PLUS plenty of beta carotene, another antioxidant.
The development of osteoarthritis has many stages, but one of the most critical stages is the breakdown of collagen in your body. Collagen is a fibrous protein that helps to keep your skin firm as well as helping your cartilage to absorb shock. Halting the deterioration of collagen in your body and helping to build more collagen can help protect your joints from the pressure they are put under over time.
Have you ever heard the saying ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor at bay’? Well, it’s true! Apples, especially the red ones, contain an antioxidant called quercetin, which is great at building collagen as well as slowing down its deterioration. Make sure you eat the skin, as that’s where all the quercetin is concentrated.
Calcium is the mineral most people would associate with keeping joints and bones healthy and turning to milk and other dairy produce is obvious choice. However, kale is also jam-packed with calcium, as well as vitamins A, C, and K, which are known to protect the joints. Not only that, but kale is rich in copper and manganese which can build collagen and aid tissue growth and repair PLUS it’s much lower in fat than dairy produce.
It is believed that pineapple actually has healing powers, thanks to a compound known as bromelain. Research has shown that bromelain is even more effective at reducing inflammation than anti-inflammatory drugs.
Although most people know ginger for its ability to soothe tummy troubles it can also be used to reduce pain and swelling in joints. Compounds within ginger called gingerols can stop inflammation and ease pain by stopping the production of the enzyme COX-2.